The formula was created for moms who can't breastfeed. The ingredients are almost the same as the ones found in the real thing.
What's inside of it?
The first ingredient is water and, just like human milk, it contains cow's milk and corn syrup solids. The formula also contains vegetable oil to help people who can't digest lactose (milk sugar), and whey protein that helps with development.
Finally, calcium phosphate and vitamin D are added to help babies grow strong bones. One more thing - there are no traces of peanuts or gluten found in infant formulas, unlike breast milk.
The formula for babies is closest to what nature provides us with. In fact, it's even better because mothers can make sure their infants get everything they need from a bottle even if something is wrong with the mom's own milk. The best choice for doctors is Enfamil, which contains prebiotics and probiotics that help babies digest formula easier.
The formula also has some disadvantages. When infants grow up drinking it, they don't become as strong as those who drink breastmilk - although currently, researchers are working on an artificial one that would be even better than both of them.
Formula can't protect babies from infections or allergies either, but modern formulas have decreased the risk by 90%. And lastly, breastfeeding provides infants with antibacterial enzymes that destroy harmful bacteria in their food source (mom's milk).
Disadvantages of using the formula for babies
Babies who drink formula are at risk of getting diarrhea because it's harder to digest than human milk. When this happens, their recovery time can be up to 6 days long; that's 6 days when they're not developing well. Every case is different, but in most cases out of 100 infants who develop diarrhea from drinking formula, around half need to go through hospitalization due to the special treatment required.
Another risk for babies drinking formula instead of breast milk is staying dehydrated longer, which makes them have a slower recovery rate if they get sick or hurt themselves. This means more discomfort for little ones because even though formula contains water, there are no sugars or proteins present in it that would help their body rehydrate.
Babies drinking formula need to be checked by doctors if their stomach hurts or they start throwing up after every meal because it might mean that they have a milk sensitivity - so being sure of the ingredients in each formula is essential for good health. Every baby is different, which means that one won't be affected while another will get sick from even the slightest change in ingredients. And without this information, pediatricians can't help much with remedies...
There are cases when babies develop an allergy to some of the components used in making formula, but there is nothing docs can do about it because there are no alternatives. This can happen because some infants lack one of the enzymes needed to digest whey protein.
What are pediatricians` pieces of advice?
Pediatricians recommend breastfeeding overusing the formula for babies. Although, if the conditions are right, they do say that it's ok to use formula. Babies born prematurely also have a harder time digesting milk proteins, so it's better for them to be fed with preterm infant formulas. They're usually made of hydrolyzed protein because that type is easier to digest than other forms.
And even though breastfeeding mothers think their milk can never be replaced by any product available on the market - what about feeding your child only water? It's healthy for babies up until 6 months old, but you HAVE to add other ingredients after that age, or else the lack of nutrients will cause damage to his/her brain development.
Can you feed a child only with formula?
Absolutely not! Even before a baby turns 6 months old, they're at risk of getting dehydrated because the formula doesn't have carbohydrates and proteins that would help the water reenter their body.
And if you think breastfeeding is also bad for babies because it makes them too dependent on mom's milk, where do you get those facts from? That's as bad as saying Coke is better than milk as a source of hydration...
Formula feeding might be better than nothing but isn't good enough compared to what nature has to offer. If we want healthier and happier kids later in life we need to provide them with all they need nutrients-wise - starting with proper nutrition and hygiene - and then give our children the love and attention they deserve!
10 best formula closest to breast milk
S-26 is the best for premature babies because they have both prebiotics and probiotics (the healthy bacteria that help with digestive enzymes). They're closest to breast milk, but even those who drink other types agree that it doesn't cause as much gas as other formulas do - which makes them a better choice. You can also use this as a complementary feed for babies older than 6 months.
This formula has lactose instead of sucrose; lactose is closer to human milk and will help your baby digest food easier. It's recommended to use by doctors when their patients show signs of intolerance or allergy towards both soy and whey protein (which means their body doesn't produce enough enzymes needed to digest milk).
According to parents, this is the best choice for babies with milk allergies. It's closer to hydrolyzed casein formula (instead of whey) and can be used as a complementary feed for breastfed babies over 6 months of age. Parents also say that this milk-based formula has similar results to hypoallergenic formulas (soy-based), even though it's made of cow's milk proteins!
Nestle Good Start Gentle Plus 19:
This type of milk-based formula has a double prebiotic effect and is recommended to be used by doctors when their patients have diarrhea, gas, or constipation. It contains probiotics that help produce digestive enzymes, which makes it easier for infants to digest this milk-based formula.
This specific brand is the gold standard in pediatricians' offices because it can be used as an elemental formula to treat milk allergies in babies older than 6 months old. It's derived from cow's milk but contains partially hydrolyzed protein (which means it also has smaller components that cause less irritation and symptoms). The best part? Some parents say this type doesn't give their kids gas as other formulas do!
Enfamil NeuroPro infant formula:
This milk-based formula is the first one to be FDA approved for infants with milk allergies or sensitivities. It contains special protein components that are harder for babies' bodies to digest (which might lead to an allergic reaction) but also makes it easier to obtain amino acids and calcium, making this a great choice for children who refuse other types of formula.
Parents say that even though this type of formula contains prebiotics and probiotics, they notice their kids get gassy and fussy after consuming it. But if your child's doctor says you can give him/her this milk-based formula, you should do so because these bacteria will help them digest their food better - causing fewer stomach problems.
Gerber Good start A2 milk:
This type of formula contains cow's milk protein but it doesn't cause as much irritation as other types do. It can be used by babies who are diagnosed with intolerance or allergies towards whey proteins (which means their body doesn't produce enough enzymes needed to digest milk).
Gerber Nestle Nan 1 Pro infant formula:
These milk-based formulas are for babies who have unfavorable reactions towards hydrolyzed formula (soy-based) and can't tolerate prebiotics. It contains lactose instead of sucrose, making it easier to digest food, mucus membranes, and the stomach lining.
Happy baby organic infant formula:
This type of milk-based formula is 100% USDA-certified organic and contains probiotics that help babies digest food. It doesn't contain any GMOs, sweeteners, or synthetic nutrients - which makes it a great choice for parents who want to give their kids healthy milk-based formula.
What should you look at while choosing formula for your baby?
- Probiotics and Prebiotics
These help babies digest food and decrease the risk of diarrhea. When a baby is taking a formula that doesn't contain any prebiotic or probiotics, he/she might suffer from eczema, diarrhea, and constipation. It's important to talk to your baby's doctor before you change their milk-based formula because some types can make them even sicker if they don't have issues with digestion.
- Whey vs. soy
There are some pros and cons for both types of protein, which means every parent should compare different brands before deciding on one specific type of milk-based formula. Whey proteins are easier to digest but soy proteins might cause milder adverse reactions after consumption (which include rashes, gas, bloating, diarrhea). There are some combinations of both types (whey and soy) but if your baby has a reaction after drinking one specific type, you might want to avoid it.
All milk-based formulas contain sugar because infants can't digest lactose - which is the main type of carbohydrate in breast milk. It's important to choose formula containing lactose instead of sucrose (or corn syrup solids) because the latter makes babies drink less water and slows down their weight gain.
- Similac Sensitive vs. Alimentum
Both types are made for babies who have food allergies or intolerances towards cow's milk proteins. Similac sensitive contains partially hydrolyzed whey protein and Alimentum contains hydrolyzed casein, which means it's easier to digest than regular milk-based formulas.
This is an omega-3/omega-6 fatty acid that helps your child's brain, eye, and heart development. It comes from oil made from algae or fish but there are some controversies regarding this ingredient.
- Artificial dyes:
These are common among milk-based formulas because they give it a more appealing color. Many parents choose to buy special brands without any dyes because their kids have adverse reactions towards them (which include constipation, diarrhea, and vomiting). You should always read all ingredients before purchasing any type of formula because different companies add different artificial components that might affect your baby in a negative way.
How can you make formula taste closer to breast milk?
You can add some breast milk to the formula if you want to give your baby a closer feeling towards breastfeeding. It's important to remember that their stomach is different than an adult's one - which means they need the best milk-based formula for their age and health conditions.
Babies can't digest food without lactose (which is responsible for breaking down milk sugars), so it isn't unusual for them to suffer from discomfort after drinking milk or eating dairy products.
Most pediatricians recommend giving them soy-based formulas, but if your child reacts badly towards any of these types you should talk to their doctor about lactose intolerance (which means they aren't producing enough lactase enzymes).
There are some good alternatives like almond, rice, and coconut kinds of milk but they aren't as efficient as regular milk-based formulas. They don't contain enough calories for babies so you shouldn't use them as a long-term solution.
How can you know that formula suits your baby?
- They gain enough weight:
Maintaining the right weight is important because it affects your baby's overall health. Even though their stomach can't digest solid food, you should still try to give them a balanced diet of breast milk and formula throughout the day. Every brand has different amounts of nutrients so you might want to talk to a pediatrician about this specific point.
- No adverse reactions:
Milk-based formulas aren't for everyone, but if your baby doesn't have any type of adverse reaction they probably don't have lactose intolerance. Don't give them soy-based formulas without checking with their doctor first because they might get constipated or experience some other discomforting symptoms after drinking it. In most cases, mothers who have hyperthyroidism or those who take some type of medication shouldn't feed their kids with soy-based formulas.
- No vomiting:
Vomiting is a sign that something's wrong and it might be a serious health problem for your baby. Their stomach can't digest lactose properly, so they probably feel sick after drinking milk or eating dairy products. Some babies react badly towards artificial dyes in certain formulas, which is why you should always read the ingredients before buying anything to feed your child with.
- If you think your baby has lactose intolerance talk to their doctor about the best way to proceed from there on out - regardless of whether they drink formula or breastfeed them. Breastfeeding mothers sometimes produce lower amounts of lactase enzymes (which is necessary for digesting lactose), which might make their child experience symptoms related to not having enough of them. If you want more information on this specific point or have some additional questions, feel free to contact us!
- No diarrhea:
Diarrhea means that your baby's digestive system isn't working properly. It can be caused by many things including food allergies, viruses, and some types of medication. Some babies are simply lactose intolerant while others can't tolerate soy-based formulas because they induce constipation. Make sure you always read the ingredients before feeding your toddler with any type of milk product - otherwise they might have an adverse reaction towards it.